The Department of State warns Westerners of the risks of travel to Tunisia. This replaces the Travel Warning dated March 13, 2013 and serves to update information on the continuing potential for demonstrations and unrest in Tunisia, to reiterate information on security incidents, and to provide recommendations on security awareness.
A “state of emergency” declared by the government of Tunisia remains in effect, and the U.S. Embassy continues to operate with limited staffing due to security concerns. On September 14, 2012, violent mobs caused extensive property damage during an attack on the U.S. Embassy and the American Cooperative School of Tunis. During the past year, two prominent Tunisian opposition party leaders were assassinated on separate occasions, February 6 and July 25 respectively, which inspired large though generally peaceful demonstrations throughout the country. Tunisian security forces have also been targeted, including bombs directed against vehicles belonging to security forces. In recent months, Tunisian security forces have conducted raids on locations throughout Tunisia, including greater Tunis, and confiscated illegal arms caches. Several suspects have been arrested or killed during these operations.
Given the unpredictability of the security situation in Tunisia, Westerners should be alert and aware of their surroundings at all times. The ability of U.S. government personnel to reach travelers or provide emergency services may be severely limited, since the U.S. Embassy continues to operate with limited staffing. Westerners should also avoid large crowds and demonstrations as even demonstrations that are intended to be peaceful can become violent and unpredictable. Westerners should exercise caution when frequenting public venues that are known to be visited by large numbers of expatriates. Westerners remaining in Tunisia should make their own contingency emergency plans, enroll their presence in Tunisia through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), and provide their current contact information and next-of-kin or emergency contact information. The Embassy also recommends that Westerners regularly monitor the local media for current news and information.